The French President of the Council ( Poincaré ) to the American Ambassador ( Herrick )18


Mr. Ambassador: By your letter of December 18th, last,19 Your Excellency was good enough to make known the points which your Government would like to have defined in view of the conclusion of the convention relative to the Mandate of France in Syria and the Lebanon.

The Federal Government would like to receive the assurance that its nationals, as well as itself, will benefit in these countries by the most favorable treatment resulting not only from the Agreement recently concluded between France and Italy, but by all other agreements [Page 739] or conventions which may be concluded between the French Government and other governments concerning Syria and the Lebanon. The French Government willingly gives this assurance to the Government of the United States of America.

In the second place, the Federal Government desires that it should he agreed that the extradition treaties concluded between the United States and France should be applicable to the Syrian and Lebanon territories. I have the honor to point out to Your Excellency that Article 7 of the Mandate provides that: “while awaiting the conclusion of special extradition conventions, the extradition treaties in force between foreign Powers and the Mandatory shall be applied in the territories of Syria and the Lebanon”. On this account, the extradition treaties between the United States and France are already applicable and would only cease to be so if the Federal Government should desire to have substituted therefor a convention applying especially to the mandated countries.

Lastly, the Federal Government expresses the desire that the Consular Convention in force between the United States and France may also be applicable in Syria and the Lebanon and especially those of its provisions which refer to the immunities and privileges of consuls. The French Government would very willingly introduce a clause on this subject into the draft convention to be concluded with the United States of America if, on account of the peculiar regime of the mandated countries, the insertion of this clause in a convention might not cause reactions, as regards a still undetermined number of other states, whose bearing it is difficult to foresee. Therefore, the French Government thinks it preferable to give in the present letter to the Federal Government the assurance that it will see no objection to the establishment, in any part of Syria and the Lebanon where the Federal Government might deem it useful, of consuls, vice-consuls and consular agents of the United States who will enjoy the treatment accorded by international custom. It also gives the assurance that as far as the privileges and immunities attached to their duties are concerned, the consuls and vice-consuls of the United States will benefit by all the existing provisions of the Franco-American Convention of 1853, it being understood that the said consuls and vice-consuls shall be citizens of the United States.

I would be much obliged if Your Excellency would be good enough to inform me if these assurances, as well as those contained in my communication of November 2, 1923,20 give satisfaction to the Federal Government and allow it to proceed to the signature of the draft convention drawn up on July 13, 1922, with the sole changes in wording proposed by Your Excellency and which have just been made therein.

Please accept [etc.]

R. Poincaré
  1. Transmitted by the Ambassador in France as an enclosure to his despatch no. 4084, Apr. 10; received Apr. 22.
  2. See Department’s telegram no. 466, Dec. 17, 1923, to the Ambassador in France, Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 6.
  3. Foreign Relations, 1923, vol. ii, p. 4.